The Things I Don’t Tell You About My Diabetes
Inspiration has struck me at bedtime on this Monday night at the end of a long weekend, after mulling over something to write for much of the day. And I know I won’t be able to get to sleep until I’ve put pen to paper. Or, in this case, fingers to keyboard.
Yesterday on the Coffee and Insulin blog, author Sarah shared her thoughts on diabetes before her diagnosis at age 13 – which was basically vague, unsubstantial ideas about a disease she didn’t need to know about at the time. And over the past week, I’ve been watching Twitter explode with #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes tweets. Inspired by Kelly of the Diabetesaliciousness blog, people have been sharing their thoughts using the hashtag to raise diabetes awareness.
And it got me to thinking about my own very complex diabetic life. There are so many aspects of my daily life that those around me would have absolutely no idea about. Of course most people around me know that I check my blood sugar levels and inject myself with insulin. But what about all those other invisible things that nobody ever sees, the things I choose to keep to myself.
Thoughts. Its been almost five years since I’ve been able go to bed without being plagued with worrying thoughts. What will my blood sugar level be in an hours time? In two hours? Four hours? Tomorrow morning? Do I still have active insulin in my system from dinner? How much more am I likely to drop? Will I go hypo? Or will my blood sugar rise later on because of the fatty food I had earlier?
Hypos. Being woken up at 2am drenched in sweat and shaking like mad. The frustration of having to open my eyes and get up from my comfy position under the covers. I know I’m hypo, but I’ll still reach for my meter just to be sure. Yep. I’ll reach for the bag of jellybeans sitting beside my bed, begrudgingly shoving them into my mouth. I hate them. The dry, sugary taste that will stick to my tongue for hours and leave my throat dry. I’ll be dying for a drink by the time I wake up. And then I’ll have to fall asleep all over again.
Hypers. Waking up in the morning thinking of one number while my meter is showing something ridiculous like 20. I’m so furious, so frustrated at the thought of my blood sugar being that high for that long. Then cue the scary thoughts of diabetes complications and damage I’ve done to my body. Desperate to being my blood sugars down ASAP, I’ll dial up a big dose of insulin. Only to find a few hours later that I’ve overcorrected and am hypo instead.
And then there’s those public situations. Like Work. Having to refuse that spontaneous treat that my workmate has brought in to share, and then being asked why not. Or accepting it and then racing back to the bathroom for a quick jab of insulin while nobody is around. And then waiting for that private moment to test my blood sugar level away from prying eyes. I’m doing myself a favour. Saving myself from that conversation where I’m asked if I can’t eat sugar and told stories about that friend or relative who has diabetes too.
But I take it all in my stride. I don’t complain to my family. I don’t tell those well meaning conversationalists to shut up. I just deal with it. And most of the time, I dont even stop to actually think about what I’m doing. Its just something I have to do. Its a part of being me.
Well, its 11.52pm and I really should go to sleep. If you do want to hear more about me in real time, you can find me on Twitter @FrankSita. I’m always keen to connect with fellow people with diabetes, and bloggers out there. Cheers.